Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Happy New Year!

View of Mt. Etna from our local rail-trail

Hope your 2022 is off to a good start. Some things Zio Lorenzo's been thinking about:

Remember Jeff Novitzky? The FDA agent hot-on-the-trail of BigTex and other cycling dope cheats...until he wasn't? Now he's been to be the "senior vice president of athlete health and performance at Ultimate Fighting Championship". Is that a sport?

Since "BigTex" has justified his cheating with a similar "But Mom, everyone else is doing it too!" excuse, should Tex be reinstated as winner of all those races where the winner gets the yellow shirt? What about other cheats like "Mr. 60%"? Zio wonders about the similarities between Novitzky going to work for this fighting business and when Tex hired Don Caitlin to, well, whitewash his yet-to-be-admitted-to doping scheme.

Meanwhile, the tiny country of San Marino is offering great tax breaks to various athletes. No matter how much dough you make the maximum tax you'll have to pay is $100K they say. You need a house there and I guess you have to live in it? With Italian cycling pros spending so much time out of Italy, can they "live" (or at least sleep) there enough nights each year to not run afoul of the residence requirements that caught up tax-exiles like Valentino Rossi and Luciano Pavarotti?

Since San Marino is entirely surrounded by Italy, Zio guesses you could "live" there and ride around on your bike all over Italy as long as you could prove you were back "home" (as in out of Italy) enough nights to meet the regulations. Some well-known pros have been listed as moving there so Zio guesses only time will tell if they get away with it.

Ever wonder why pro cycling teams don't take more care/interest in having kits that stand out on TV and show their sponsor's logos in a way they can be read on a rider on a bike? Zio has, and now it seems the UCI has taken some steps to reduce the similarities, at least in the women's category. For some reason a whole bunch of women's team kit designers decided for 2022 way-too-similar purple/orange/pink fade designs were the way to go. Thankfully, the UCI decided otherwise.*

Finally, some great advice from pro rider Victor Campenaerts. It's in Italian but (easily translated) he basically says unless you're a pro, why waste your time fooling around with power-meters and other electronic gizmos? He claims these things reduce the fun of cycling even for the pros!

Heather long-ago demanded cyclometers be removed from all of her bikes while Zio uses a simple Cateye unit on his, mostly for service interval reasons. We both ditched heart-rate gizmos once our racing daze were over and never got into Strava or any of the "smart-phone" based schemes. GPS units were used only sparingly, mostly to map routes for our tours

Best wishes for a great 2022!

*Update: UCI is currently allowing the SDWorx, UAE women and HumanPoweredHealth teams to race in jerseys almost impossible to tell apart! 
Zio feels sorry for anyone tasked with telling these teams apart on the road!

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